Sunday, 3 June 2012

Week 3 - Earthquake rooms, A Salsa ball, The Queens Birthday, & EXPENSIVE shopping!

My 1st personalized stamp!

So this week might be a bit of a mish-mash of different topics, but as my new life here slowly reveals itself, there are lots of little things that make keep taking me by surprise!  The picture (left) is of my own work Stamp! I have my own work stamp for signing off documents! Maybe not exciting to many of you, but I have never had my own stamp so I got very excited about it!

I also had some more training at work, and just to make up for missing on the hot weather in the UK, I thought I’d show you the background scenery to the training session!

Training at Porirua
Keeping on the work theme, I forgot to mention last week that during my induction I was being shown around the office building, and was taken into a small room at the back of the building. Inside the room were several big containers of water, tinned food, and some other supplies. I though that maybe some of my colleagues were just big camping fans. Apparently I was wrong – this was the EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL /SUPPLIES ROOM! I was also told to bring some spare clothes in to the office and store them under my desk. His got me thinking what else should I bring – my Glee Cd’s? Liverpool Shirt? And then I thought, bloody hell, I’m lucky that my new work colleagues are all nice and a good laugh, because if I was stuck with them in the building for a few days, as least we’d keep each other entertained!

I’ll start by saying that we have a long weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday – nothing unusual about that you might think, because the whole UK is celebrating that right now! The unusual part is that they celebrate it here with a public holiday every year!  

I’m still living most of my life in Starbucks after work, to use the free internet, I even know the staff by name, I just need to remember that the people at the bus queue can see through the window what I’m doing on my computer and I often catch them seeing what I am looking at! So I was determined to do something social this week and set off to join a gym (something I still haven’t managed to do), and find a Salsa class. This I managed to achieve, and not only did I end up going to two Salsa classes, and met people form all over the place including Bolton! I was told that randomly this weekend was the NZ Pacific Salsa Congress, and so having a pretty empty social calendar, I thought it’d be good to go and dance and meet a few people on the Saturday night for the Salsa Ball. So here are a few pictures (and videos) if the internet lets me upload them!
I'll be learning this move next week ! lol...
The Band

 Now I don’t want to get into the habit if comparing everything with the UK, but some things I have saw on Sunday’s shopping trip were totally crazy expensive! After having bought lots of house things last week, I now needed to buy the extra bits of clothing for the upcoming Winter and a few extra bits and pieces for work, seeing as I don’t have a uniform in this job. I have spent most of Sunday shopping, because they have lots of discounts & sales this weekend. I have bought 3 shirts, 3 pairs of shoes, a pair of jeans, 2 jumpers, 4 books and a mobile internet device that doesn’t seem to work! Some things are sooooo expensive to the point I was GOBSMACKED to see prices like:
1)   A book (normal paper back) = $26 (13 pounds) - (7 pounds in UK)
2)   English Football shirts $139 (70 pounds) – (normally 40 pounds in UK)
3)   Football boots/trainers $100 minimum (50 pounds)
4)   Underwear / boxers $25 (12 pounds) for just 2 pairs!

Basically, some things are just very expensive! There are also a couple of weird things I noticed too:
1)   Most jeans have a ‘standard’ leg length, so you have to get the leg altered (at extra cost)
2)   Sizes are different – it’s the first place where I had to find ‘XS” extra small shirts in one particular shop.

On food related matters, I must say that I am yet to find the following important items:
1)   Decent tea (Twinnings ‘English Breakfast’ is not the same!)
2)   A good biscuit for tea dunking – closest are replica ‘ginger nuts’
3)   Cadbury’s chocolate – any!

So all in all, will any UK visitors please bring as much of those last three items, and Carl, please bring me a Liverpool Shirt – I can’t bring myself to pay 70 quid for it! I just can’t!

The story of my first (Chinese) massage will have to wait to next week, it was almost like paying to be assaulted!

P.S. LATEST NEWS FLASH - I have internet at home! not much (it's done on usage, but enough to get by and not pay rent at Starbucks), I must go say goodbye to my Starbucks room mates, whom I've grown fond of.

Regards from New Zealand


  1. Hey Dan - sounds like you are enjoying finding your away around windy Welly..

    A few pointers from your friend in the deep south!
    1. Don't buy books at the main bookshops - they are EXPENSIVE!! but do buy online at (new zealand owned!) and 1/2 the price! Even better get your family/friends to buy you books online at fishpond and get them delivered to you! On the other hand - Welly I think has some amazing second hand bookshops.. :-)

    2. Umm English football shirts - well hey.. imagine the tax that goes on them before they get into the country.. and anyway.. time for you to start following the Hurricanes and the rugby in Wellington! You'll probably pay the same for the shirt - tee hee!

    3. Football shoes - yup - get them from England.. it's another imported item that John Key's government probably loves to tax!

    4. Were are you buying your underwear????? You've got to go to Warehouse mate.. or at least K-Mart... anywhere else is going to cost you the earth :-)

    5. Timtams are the ones for dunking - but first you have to suck out the cream inner through the biscuit...

    6. You need to find the international section of New World - then you'll find ALL... the things you are missing in the food line! But you'll probably have to pay through the nose to get them.

    7. Cadbury's chocolate - comes south dahling.. Dunedin is where the Cadbury's factory is.. but then most of our actual chocolate has been outsourced to Aussie and is yuck! So you have to move over I'm afraid to Whittakers - New Zealand made and really nice NZ chocolate!

    8. Who is your internet provider? But then I think you really have to blame Telecom NZ who have kept the speed down for soooo long!

    9. oh... and did no-one tell you that Wellington is on the faultline and the earthquake that hit Christchurch was the one we always thought was going to hit Wellington....! But you'll be all right as you can walk home to Cuba St.. most people live out of the city and there is only 2 routes in and out of Wellington - an earthquake could potentially take them both out.. but enough of the doom and gloom...

    Hope you're ready for the southerly heading your way tomorrow - we're looking forward to snow down here :-)